If you've got space in your yard and a little time every week to turn it, converting your food waste into a soil-building amendment with a compost pile is a great way to feed your garden while reducing the amount of trash that goes to the landfill. However, if you don't have the room or the inclination to start composting outside, how can you deal with organic waste from your kitchen?
Considering that the average person in the US is said to create about 475 pounds of food waste each year, and that throwing it in the trash just adds to our already overburdened landfills, being able to divert that waste and convert it into an important soil-building amendment could be a great way of reducing our own personal environmental footprint.
Some areas have a home food waste pickup service that will remove your food scraps and compost them in their facility, or you could start a worm bin and begin vermiposting your waste inside, but if you'd like another alternative, you might look into getting one of these countertop units that claims to convert food waste into compost in just three hours.The Food Cycler Home, which is a small residential version of Food Cycle Science's commercial food waste composting solution, measures about 1 cubic foot and is said to be able to handle just about any type of food scraps, turning them into odorless compost, quickly and easily.
"The Food Cycler: Home uses advanced eco-friendly technology to modernize and expedite the traditional composting process without the use of drains, venting or additives, converting food waste into a nutrient-rich soil amendment. Lab-tested and proven, results show that the created by-product is ideal for gardening and landscaping. Through a simple four step process food, cooked or uncooked, is collected in the device's removable basket and then grinded and dehydrated to produce organic material in as little as three hours." - Food Cycle Science
Food Cycle Science launched a crowdfunding campaign for this personal countertop composter, but was only able to raise about 10% of their $30,000 goal before the campaign ended, so perhaps the demand for a unit like this isn't nearly as big as the company thought (or maybe because the $400 price tag is a bit steep).
As a long-time composter, I have to take issue with their claim that the device turns out compost, because in my experience, it just isn't possible to do in only a couple of hours. However, a closer look at the information on the company's commercial units yields a more accurate description, which is that it produces a "humus-rich soil amendment," which could certainly be a great soil-builder in itself, or used to feed a worm bin to finish the process.
There's no word if the Food Cycler: Home will be offered again in the future, but if your business or institution creates a lot of food waste, it may be worth looking into the company's commercial models, which can handle anywhere from 125 lb. to 3300 lb of food scraps per day, without the need for added water, enzymes, or venting.